There was a line from Man of La Mancha: whether the pitcher hits the stone or the stone hits the pitcher, it's going to be bad for the pitcher.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee didn't really land a punch at former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie during his testimony today on federal monitors and deferred prosecution agreements, and it is fair to believe that he was asked to appear because he is the Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey. No new information came out of the hearing that had not appeared in the media months ago. But for the next day or so, there will be stories that talk about Christie giving a no-bid multi-million contract to John Ashcroft and others, and that's not his best case scenario. It might not matter that Christie completed his 2 ½ hours of testimony relatively unscathed. What matters is that he was there, talking about issues unrelated to New Jersey's economy and the record of the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Jon Corzine.
The subcommittee chairman, Steven Cohen (D-Tenn.), sought to chastise Christie for leaving the hearing before it was over. Cohen, who was not as prepared for the give-and-take as some Democrats had hoped, was aware that Christie planned to start at 11AM and leave at 1:30 PM. Christie was there early, and Cohen started twenty minutes late. Indeed, Christie gave the House panel more time than he agreed to. And Christie threw a very subtle punch at Cohen, who is white and represents a Memphis House district with an African American majority.